Islamabad: The Hindu community across Pakistan celebrated Diwali , the festival of lights, with religious fervor as they decorated temples and houses with colorful lights to mark the celebrations.
On Sunday (November 03) Diwali gatherings were held at Hindu temples in cities and towns wherever the community resides, including one at Swami Narayan temple in the commercial capital Karachi.
The temple and the houses were illuminated with lights to mark the celebrations.
The cheering children and youth burnt firecrackers outside the temple.
Sunil Kumar, a participant of Diwali gathering, said the festival was a message of peace and love.
“I want to give this message to the world that at this time when everyone is facing hardships, everyone is worried, people from every nook and corner can learn from this festival,” he said.
Preparations begin many days before the festival. Houses are whitewashed, new clothes are stitched and sweets and dry- fruit gifted to the homes of relatives and friends.
“First of all our family offer prayers, then we distribute sweets to greet each other. Then we decorate our homes lighting these lamps. At the end we set off cracker so that we can celebrate Diwali in a befitting manner,” said a resident, Lakshmi Ladhuram.
Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain extended his heartiest greetings to the Hindu community on the occasion of Diwali.
“On this auspicious occasion I sincerely wish that may the celebrations of the day bring more festivity and happiness in the lives of all those, who commemorate this day,” the President said in his message on the eve of Diwali.
Diwali, which falls in October-November, has its origins in the celebrations in Ayodhya in northern India marking the return of Hindu god Rama to his kingdom after defeating the demon king Ravana.
Legend says millions of lamps were lit when Lord Rama returned after 14 years of exile in forests and fight against Ravana.
Diwali is also celebrated in honour of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is believed that Lakshmi enters only those homes that are clean and well lit.
Pakistan’s tiny Hindu minority accounts for less than three percent of the overwhelmingly Muslim Pakistan.